The production of glass dates back thousands of years, but its quality and use has evolved over time. Today, many different types of glass are available including crystal glass. Crystal glass is a special type of high-end glassware, used by many for formal occasions as well as everyday life.
The process of how crystal glass is made begins with selection of raw materials. Special sand, also known as silica, is main component of crystal glass. This is then combined with other ingredients, such as sodium carbonate and limestone, to create a molten mix. Depending on type of crystal glass desired, additional elements can be added, such as lead oxide. This creates desired color and luster.
Once ingredients have been selected and mixed, molten glass is ready to be crafted. This process is highly skilled, and requires use of specialized equipment and tools. Technicians use large furnaces to heat molten glass to temperatures of up to 1200 degrees Celsius.
Once glass is hot enough, it is turned into 'boules', which are large logs of glass. The boules are then cut into smaller pieces, which will be shaped into desired objects. The glass is then placed in a type of oven called a glory hole. This is used to reheat glass and is also used to shape it with help of tools like blowpipes and jacks.
Finally, objects are brought over to finishing line. Here, pieces are polished, engraved, or etched for decoration or detail. The pieces are then inspected for defects and quality assurance. Finally, pieces are inspected for clarity and brilliance, in order to ensure that highest quality crystal glass is produced.
Once pieces have been finished, they are ready to be packaged and shipped out. Today, crystal glass is a popular choice for many occasions and is used in many homes. The process to make crystal glass is complex, but end results are stunning and worth effort.